After losing the first Test to Pakistan by 75 runs at the Lord’s, England are seeking help of former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq, as they were troubled by Yasir Shah who became the first Pakistani spinner to take 10 wickets in the Lord’s Test. Yasir bamboozled England batsmen and helped the visitors to a win in the historic Lord’s Test.
Now, before the start of the Manchester Test at the Old Trafford, England has called back leg-spinner Adil Rashid and ace paceman James Anderson with an eye to turnaround the fortunes in the series.
England will find Yasir more difficult to play at Old Trafford, as the pitch there traditionally supports the spinner.
The home team is without a spin bowling coach since 2014 when leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed, now in the tourists’ camp, returned home in 2014.
England have picked a 14 man squad. They might field two spinners since both – all-time leading wicket-taker James Anderson – and all-rounder Ben Stokes have passed the fitness test.
Anderson is in good form as in his return match to competitive cricket after recovering from shoulder injury, he picked up 3/58 against Durham. So, it is expected that he will the first Test.
Meanwhile, Stokes was looking forward to working with Saqlain who took four for 74 when Pakistan defeated England by 108 runs in the second Test at Old Trafford in 2001.
“You’ve got to use the knowledge of the people you’re lucky enough to have come in and work with you,” said Stokes.
“It would be silly if the batsmen didn’t try to get anything out of him, pick his brains and ask how the guys who were successful against him played.”
In the first Test, several England batsmen were dismissed cheaply at Lord’s, so this time at the Old Trafford England would like to play a bit cautious cricket. England since the 2015 Ashes series have been playing great cricket, they have defeated South Africa in their home; defeated Sri Lanka at home.
However, Ben Stokes feels, Yasir Shah will get assistance at the Trafford and he will do well. “Old Trafford is known to spin, and obviously, that’s going to favour (Shah).
“So we might have to change where you have to think ‘I can do this but no, I can’t do that’, if it’s spinning and bouncing.
“It will just be working out a gameplan in terms of how to score, but not giving your wicket away.”
England is about to shuffle their batting order as top order batsman James Vince failed to impress in the first Test. On the other hand, it seems that Pakistan will deploy the same side, although there are question marks over both Mohammad Hafeez and Shan Masood.
Having come through all the hype surrounding Mohammad Amir’s return to Test cricket for the first time since his 2010 spot-fixing saga at Lord’s, they gave fans at the ‘home of cricket’ much to talk about last week, this time for right reasons.
On the other hand bowler Mohammad Amir, who made his Test return after 2010 spot-fixing scandal, impressed his captain Misbah-ul-Haq
Talking about England team, Pakistan fielding coach Steve Rixon said, “I think most countries around the world play ‘wrists’ (wrist-spinners) quite poorly,” he said.
“To see someone master it and play them well is a treat to see, but I haven’t seen a lot that do it yet,” the former Australia wicket-keeper added.
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